Data for the People

Data for the People

How to Make Our Post-privacy Economy Work for You

Book - 2017
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A long-time chief data scientist at Amazon shows how open data can make everyone, not just corporations, richer

Every time we Google something, Facebook someone, Uber somewhere, or even just turn on a light, we create data that businesses collect and use to make decisions about us. In many ways this has improved our lives, yet, we as individuals do not benefit from this wealth of data as much as we could. Moreover, whether it is a bank evaluating our credit worthiness, an insurance company determining our risk level, or a potential employer deciding whether we get a job, it is likely that this data will be used against us rather than for us.

In Data for the People , Andreas Weigend draws on his years as a consultant for commerce, education, healthcare, travel and finance companies to outline how Big Data can work better for all of us. As of today, how much we benefit from Big Data depends on how closely the interests of big companies align with our own. Too often, outdated standards of control and privacy force us into unfair contracts with data companies, but it doesn't have to be this way. Weigend makes a powerful argument that we need to take control of how our data is used to actually make it work for us. Only then can we the people get back more from Big Data than we give it.

Big Data is here to stay. Now is the time to find out how we can be empowered by it.

Publisher: New York :, Basic Books,, 2017, ©2017.
ISBN: 9780465044696
Branch Call Number: 303. 4833 WEI
Characteristics: xii, 299 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Apr 25, 2017

Have you noticed how adverts for stuff you searched for keep appearing for days and weeks later everytime you visit google or amazon. This book is quite an interesting and clever discussion about how data is collected and used by google, facebook, etc. I had no idea so many smart people are employed to think up novel algorithms to analyze this data for marketing purposes. The author seems to have a good handle on thinking outside the box as he has been employed by amazon in particular to devise their data analysis strategy which has a lot more to it than one would think is possible. It is definitely worth finding out about since almost everyone uses amazon, facebook, and google. When you click that mouse a lot more happens than you would expect!

I was also interested that Weigend is actually a physicist who got his PhD studying elementary particles at CERN. In fact, according to him, analyzing cloud chamber data for elementary particle collisions is a lot like analyzing internet data. And, a lot of physicists get jobs in this area of data analysis for marketing purposes. I also just read a book from the library by another physicist - Edward Thorpe - who came up with the idea of card counting for blackjack, then became a multimillionaire applying chaos theory to the stock market. Who would have thought all these physicists find careers doing stuff like that.

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